Nick rolled over in his bed for the hundredth time, he just couldn't sleep. It was a common problem for people who worked grave shift, when they finally had a night off, it messed with the internal clock, his own sleeping pattern was continuously interrupted, and even though he had been working nights for a long time, it was always the same, the body never really adjusted.
He finally gave up on getting to sleep, walked into the living room and switched on the television to watch some infomercial that was selling the product of the week. Before he made himself comfortable on the couch he walked over to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water, caffeine free water, hoping that he would eventually be able to doze off.
He took a seat on the sofa and propped his feet up on the end, half watching, half thinking about what he would do on his day off. Actually all he wanted to do was to enjoy a day off, a day away from work, even though he knew he could be called up at any time, it was the job, no wonder he didn't have a wife or children, his life was work. He might have to reconsider his priorities soon, he wasn't getting any younger.
He had finally dozed off and had been dozing for about ten minutes when the phone rang, awakening him. He reached over and pulled the phone to his ear,"Nick Stokes." his voice slurred with sleep.
"Nick, did I wake you?" it was Catherine asking a really silly question.
"Yes." he moaned as he sat up on the couch, wiping the sleep from his eyes, he had finally gotten to sleep.
"Well, it's all hands on deck, we have a situation, I'll explain more when you get here." she stopped talking and waited for his answer.
"Be there in fifteen." he hung up the phone and went into his bedroom and changed into a shirt and jeans, pulling on his boots without tying them, he knew that Catherine wouldn't be calling if it wasn't something critical. He quickly left to go the the lab.
As Nick walked into the lab the first thing he noticed was the increased feeling of tension, the kind of tension one would see in a life or death situation, Ecklie was standing in the hallway talking to Catherine, awaiting for his arrival, there was something going down and it appeared serious.
He walked up to where Catherine was standing, expecting her to fill him in on the situation but instead she waved him forward, and together they walked to the front of the room in silence.
" As many are already aware we have a hostage situation, a mother and her three children are being held by the father, Mark Bonner, who has a warrant out for his arrest on abuse charges. When the officers went to serve the warrant, he resisted and pulled a gun, closed the door and locked it, there have been reports of screams coming from the home but we're unable to enter without possibly endangering the victim's lives." Ecklie informed the crowd of officers and CSI agents.
"We are going to the scene, which is under the FBI's command presently, and will stay there until this is finished, then we will process the residence. Our main concern is that this man might kill his family. According to his medical history he has been treated in the past for schizophrenia and paranoia issues, we aren't for sure if he has been taking his meds but if he hasn't then the children and the wife could be in great danger."
Ecklie picked up some photos of the family and started distributing them to his team, "We are not to get involved until the FBI have Mr Bonner in custody, dead or alive. We have attempted to negotiate their release but he hasn't cooperated."
Nick turned to Catherine, a darkness now shadowed his face,"What type of abuse charges are against him?"
" It's a sexual assault charge, brought to the attention of the police by one of the children's teachers today. She stated the child had become withdrawn recently, then today, she noticed that the child was having problems with sitting still, when she approached the child, he broke down, told her what his father had been doing." she whispered, loud enough for only Nick to hear.
"So the boy isn't at the home?" he asked, assuming, hoping, that the child had not been allowed to return back to the home where he had been abused.
"Yes, he is there. The school couldn't hold him." her voice low, the police had failed to hold the child at school. The warrant had taken time to obtain, the child had been allowed to reenter the home."They were unable to keep the child at school even with the charges verbalized by the child. It took time to get the warrant."
"Dammit Catherine." he cursed under his breath, angry at the laws that didn't protect a child.
Nick was clearly upset by that bit of information and Catherine knew he would have to deal, they had to concentrate on getting the children and the wife out alive.
"Let's go!" Ecklie ordered, he walked out of the conference area and started for his truck, followed by Catherine and the team, Nick getting into his own vehicle, feeling that he needed some time alone, to get it together after hearing that they had allowed. A child who had stated abuse was allowed to go back to his home, where he had been abused, it wasn't right. He slammed his fist into his steering wheel, but he was numb, but it would definitely leave a bruise.
He started his engine and followed the train of cars to the Bonner home.
The cars parked a safe distance way and as they approached the scene the first thing that Nick noticed was that a man was now lying face down in the dirt, cuffs on his wrists. The hostage situation had ended. The second thing Nick noticed was that there were no victims being treated, no children crying, no wife pleading that her husband's life be taken for harming her precious children.
He walked ahead of the team, wanting to see the face of the man who had taken his hatred for life out on his family, hoping for the best, but assuming the worse had occurred.
Catherine noticed that Nick was ahead of her and before she could catch up to him he was already face to face with the man who had been holding his family hostage.
"What did you do?" Nick asked, referring to the abuse he had relegated on an innocent child but the response made his blood go cold with a dread he had never felt.
"I sent them to visit God, let Him take care of them now!" his cold eyes sent chills down Nick's spine.
Nick quickly pulled out his gloves, and covered his still untied shoes with blue coverlets and walked into the dark Bonner home, it was quiet, deadly quiet, paramedics were now running out of the house to empty the contents of their stomachs, the air smelled of a strong odor of copper and freshly emptied bowels. His recognition of death made his own stomach turn, but he had to take care of the children, even in their death they needed him, they needed him to bring them justice.
As he entered the living room area he found his first body, the wife was lying on the uncarpeted floor, something underneath her body. He reached down, it was as he thought, an infant child, the mother had fought hard to save his life, evidenced by the multiple stab wounds to her hands and arms, fighting off the man who was going to kill her baby. They were both dead.
He continued to stare at their still bodies as he stood, there were others and he had to find them, make sure that their small bodies were processed, evidence collected, and when they were done, they would be delivered to the morgue for Doc Robbins to do his work, to be taken apart only to find that they died of the most heinous of crimes, death by a father.
He walked away slowly and headed for the back of the house, he could hear Catherine and Greg enter the residence, he assumed Ray and Riley were working the outside of the house.
"Nick, I have two bodies." Catherine called out from the living room, but he already knew about them and was off to find the two missing children.
The police officers and paramedics were standing in the hallway, their mouths covered, paled faces, they had found a small girl in her bedroom, clothed, stabbed multiple times. She was beautiful, her blond curls flowing off the bed, areas of blood intermixed with her own tears and nasalmucus stained her clothing and the bed sheet. He slowly bent down by her still body and felt for a pulse, it was absent, he hoped by some miracle she would have an instant renewal of life but she was dead.
He stood, shaking his head, wanting to be anywhere but here, then an officer came up to him, "We can't find the third child, we've looked everywhere." the officer informed, a child was missing or had hidden away from the assault on his family.
"Inform Ecklie and Brass that we have a missing child.", Brass had just arrived, he had been busy with another crime scene.
Nick went to work attempting to find the third child, first looking in the child's bedroom, it had to be the last one on the left, it was filled with toy trains and model cars. It could very well be his own childhood bedroom, so many things looked familiar, the box cars, the pictures of horses and a leather saddle that sat in the corner of the room.
He then walked into the closet, a normal place for a child to hide, a child who had experienced abuse, it was a great hiding place if there was a lot of junk inside, and there was a lot of junk inside, but he found nothing.
He was about to leave the small room when he heard a noise, at first he thought it was another team member or an officer but then he realized the noise was coming from above him, from the attic.
He grabbed a chair and pulled it over to the closet, a small space, the size that a child can crawl through without a problem, was open in the very back, it would be tight but he felt he would be able to fit through the hole and he attempted with success.
He pulled out his flashlight and showed it around the dusky room, it too was filled with boxes and old furniture. He attempted to stand but the area was smaller than he thought and he found himself crawling across the room, looking for a little boy who had been possibly injured, then he saw it, the light so dim he had missed it at first, blood and lots of it.
He pulled out his cell and called Catherine, he needed to know the little boy's name, the little boy who had been brave enough to give the information to the teacher, who had been betrayed not only by the police but most of all by his father, a murderer, a child abuser, a man who had no respect for God's or man's laws.
"Nicky?" she asked as she answered the phone, "Where are you?"
"In the attic. I need to know the little boy's name Cath. He's hurt." he was still shining his flashlight around, attempting to find the little boy.
"His name is Chris." she answered, "We'll be there in a few minutes Nick." she hung up before Nick could respond.
He resumed his search, looking inside boxes and behind old furniture when he heard a whimper, a small sound from behind a beam of wood.
"Chris?" he called from across the floor.
"Go away!" the little boy answered.
"My name is Nick, I'm here to take you to the hospital." he didn't really know what else to say.
"Don't want to go to the hospital, I want my mother, my sister Anna and my baby brother Michael, Daddy hurt them though, they aren't talking." his voice filled with tears.
Nick edged closer to where the little boy was hidden,knowing he had been hurt, but to what extent wasn't clear, time was of the essence. "Listen, I'm a crime scene investigator, I came here to make sure whoever did this to you and your family are placed somewhere where they can never hurt anybody again."
"Daddy hurt them, he hurt me too." his voice lower, weaker.
"I know Chris, but he was taken away. It's safe now to come out." he tried to comfort the little boy, provide a sense of safety for him.
"He's gone?" the little voice asked.
"Yes Chris, he's gone." Nick answered as his flashlight hit the small statured boy who was covered in blood.
"I really need to get you help. Is that okay?" Nick asked, worried that the child would die before they could get him assistance, the blood loss was massive, evidenced by a puddle of the little boy's blood on the dusty floor.
Nick reached him, taking him into his arms, placing firm pressure on the little boy's chest wound, the little boy's eyes looking up at him with a fixed stare, "It's okay Nick, if I die, God told me that there is a safe place for little boys and girls in Heaven. I will be loved there."
"You're not going to die Chris, I'm going to get you help." Nick's voice sounded pleading, even to his own ears, he could hear Catherine and the paramedics approaching. "You hear me Chris? Everything is going to be fine." He knew that the little boy was dying, he could see it in his eyes, and he wished that he could find a way to stop it, the death rattle was deafening to his ears.
"God told me to tell you that he was sorry Nick. He never wanted anybody to hurt you either." the little boy's breath hitched, then he closed his eyes, his breathing stopped, his small body went limp, he was dead.
Nick laid the boy on the floor and frantically started administering CPR, the last words of the little boy ringing in his ears as he gave him two breaths and pumped his little chest. Now the paramedics were at his side assisting but holding no hope, the blood loss was too much, the small boy's suffering was over.
The paramedic to his left looked over and spoke,"He's gone Nick."
The scene would have to be processed, the little boy had to be processed, he was now evidence.
"I'll do this Nick." Catherine spoke in a low voice.
"No, I'll process him Catherine." Nick's voice was low, emotional. "I'll take good care of him now." Nick bent down, tears running down his face, and he gave the little boy a gentle hug, then whispered in his ear," Chris,....tell God he forgot to make an eleventh commandment. Do not harm my children."